Richard Lowell Aaby died peacefully at home Sept. 13, 2014.
He was born in Kelso, Wash., to Henry and Henrietta Aaby, the youngest of six children. He worked in the woods as a teen for Weyerhaeuser when a seasoned logger encouraged him to leave the woods and pursue an education. He joined the Army, serving four years in the 82nd Airborne as a paratrooper and playing French horn in the Army band. After returning to Washington, he completed a degree in education and began a career as a teacher and administrator. During the summers, he worked as a National Park Historian and loved to tell about the day he was selected to guide Teddy Roosevelt’s granddaughter through the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. His teaching assignments led him on adventures as far away as the Bering Strait School District in Alaska to the high desert of Nevada. He developed a passion for assisting alternative and special education students to find success. He was a lifelong learner who loved nature and the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was never happier or more peaceful than when he was hiking in the woods or along a river bank. He also enjoyed dancing and listening to jazz at festivals throughout the Northwest.
He married Judy Harris in 1963 and they had two sons, Cliff and Darin. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Diana; sons Cliff (Celeste) of Vancouver and Darin (Judy) of Monroe; and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by five siblings.
There will be a private family gathering later this month. Curnow Funeral Home in Sumner will be arranging a military service at the Tahoma National Cemetery.
Remembrances may be made to the Enumclaw Schools Foundation, 2929 McDougall Ave., Enumclaw, 98022, or Franciscan Hospice, 2901 Bridgeport Way W., University Place, Wash. 98466.